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As part of a concerted effort to not fall into the “I work from home, I no longer know how to dress, shower or live in the word outside my apartment” hole I have decided at least once a week I will break out of my yoga pants, put on a coordinating ensemble, and get myself to a coffee shop.  Just to shake things up.

Heritage General Store is one of those spots I have passed for years and always think “what’s that place…bicycles?”

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Turns out, yes it is a place where bicycles are made, but they also serve coffee. This was all working out rather nicely.

The space is flooded with natural light from large windows overlooking Lincoln Avenue. Much like the decor,  the menu is simple and rustic with a selection of homemade pastries, organic coffee and teas, along with a few sandwich options.

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At the back of the space they sell local and/or handcrafted crafted wares, but the real magic is the small workshop where the  beautiful bikes are assembled.

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They aren’t made entirely on site, but every Heritage Bicycle is built-in Chicago.  The welding takes place in a warehouse off of Pulaski.  The custom paint colors are created and applied on the South Side.  But all the disparate parts converge at the General Store to become a gorgeous, one-of a-kind, make you wanna ride through the streets like a VonTrapp child from that scene in The Sound of Music, bicycle.

bikes

shiny bikes

Oh they also made really yummy cranberry scones, in case you were wondering.

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These bikes are so pretty, and the cost a pretty penny, that (to be honest) I would be far too fearful to ever ride one in the city.  Partly because I already have a terrible fear of being “doored”, but to be doored AND ruin these beautiful creations…that would be too much to bear**.

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So I have decided, one day I will purchase a vacation home in Napa Valley (also known as my version of heaven). To go along with my house, I will also purchase a Heritage Bicycle so I can ride through the rolling hills of grapes like a little bird who has just been freed from it’s cage. Perhaps I will have them install a basket on the  front handlebars… to hold my wine of course.

I just put it out there, so it’s going to happen. Get excited.

**PSA From BlairSays: I had a friend from college who was recently doored, run over by a truck, and spent several weeks in the ICU. Thankfully he is doing well and will make a full recovery, but seriously people be on the lookout for bikers. Let’s share the road and keep everyone safe ok?**

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